Business

Published — May 26, 2010 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Auto dealers spend big to stay out of financial reform

Introduction

As Congress developed sweeping changes to police financial markets, U.S. automobile dealers responded with a strong lobby push to protect their industry from further regulation. So far, their efforts have paid off.

During 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, the National Automobile Dealers Association spent just under $3 million to lobby on financial reform and other issues, according to disclosure documents filed with the Senate Office of Public Records and examined by the Center for Public Integrity. The American International Automobile Dealers Association spent $450,000.

On Monday, dealers won a victory when the Senate passed a nonbinding motion urging bill negotiators to exempt auto dealers from the proposed consumer financial protection agency. The House financial reform bill carves out automobile dealers from jurisdiction of the new pro-consumer agency, but the Senate bill does not. Negotiators from the House and Senate will meet in June to work out differences between their versions of the legislation and to finalize bill language.

The victory angered consumer advocates who oppose an exemption for auto lenders, an industry which has been criticized by the White House and the Treasury Department for pushing shady loans on members of the military. U.S. auto dealers are now regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and by local and state agencies.

“Auto lenders and dealers have some of the most predatory lending practices out there,” said Kathleen Day, a spokeswoman for Center for Responsible Lending. “If the whole point of this bill is to put everyone under some common sense rules, why should they be given a special exemption?”

Both associations declined to comment on their lobby spending. But like other industries that have tried to dodge further regulation, auto dealers contend they were not responsible for the financial meltdown and should not face the same consequences as mortgage lenders. “By imposing the same regulations on dealers as those on Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo, this legislation would essentially affect our ability to provide viable financing options for our customers,” said Rick DeSilva, chairman of American International Automobile Dealers at a news conference last week as the Senate considered financial reform.

The National Automobile Dealers Association, meanwhile, has urged its nearly 17,000 member dealers to call their Senate lawmakers and provided talking points to use in arguing for an industry exemption from the new consumer protection agency. The exemption would help “keep car loans affordable for consumers,” according to one of the talking points posted on the group’s website.

The auto dealers’ message is being echoed in Congress, particularly by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), who sponsored Monday’s nonbinding motion in the Senate after failing to insert the exemption language into the financial regulatory reform bill. “Auto dealers are a part of Main Street, not Wall Street, and they are not responsible for the financial meltdown,” Brownback said in a statement.

Read more in Business

Share this article

Join the conversation

Show Comments

6
Leave a Reply

avatar
6 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
install itunes on windows 7Bob FrankstonLinda GordonET69Jello Beyonce Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
sam fetters
Guest
sam fetters

What do AT&T, Verizon and Crown Castle International Corp have in common? The largest institutional shareholders of each includes firms like: Vanguard, BlackRock, State Street (the “Big Three”), Invesco, Fidelity (FMR), JP Morgan, Wellington Management, Geode, T Rowe Price, Bank of America, and other of the largest money-management and investment firms, whom operate collaboratively (even comprising the largest shareholders of each other), forming virtual monopolies amongst the largest “competing” corporations, in most every single industry, via large share holdings. (source = http://investors.morningstar.com/ownership/shareholders-major.html?t=CCI) These are the same firms whom also largely own the third largest telecom, T-Mobile. The own the largest… Read more »

Jello Beyonce
Guest
Jello Beyonce

I’ve a theory that the supposed “Trade Wars” and “sanctions” and political/military strife going on between the U.S., China, Russia, etc. are merely distractions, serving to divert attention away from the growing authoritarianism and Oligarchic control spreading across the globe. “Nationalism” is being used as a propagandist covert means of continued increasing Globalism. As this article states: “A Russian woman stood up to speak at one of these public meetings, and she said that when she lived in Russia, the government slam dunked her and she had no say,” King said. “Now she lives in the United States of America,… Read more »

ET69
Guest
ET69

Marx was right about capitalism . Capital gets more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. There is no way out of this greed. We need socialism!

Linda Gordon
Guest
Linda Gordon

5g is a kill grid. The depployment of this weapon is an act of terroism genocide and ecocide. The marketers need to be jailed as terrorists.

Bob Frankston
Guest

The real issue with 5G is that it’s an attempt to roll back the Internet and return to the telecom of the 1970s when the phone company controlled all.

install itunes on windows 7
Guest

I have read the post and it is really helpful as I have got to know about the 5G wireless cities which are accepting the technology and other cities which are rejecting it.